Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Toyota caused an oil leak! Questions on tests done and warranty offer

I checked the dipstick a couple days after having my oil changed (first oil change on the car) and the dipstick didn’t have any oil on it. I crawled under and realized that the filter was barely screwed on. I immediately called the dealership and they towed it back. They took full blame for it saying that they didn’t replace the O-ring which caused it to loosen and drain out.

As I said before this was a brand-new car in for its first oil change, 10,000 miles. They gave me a copy of service checks they ran which states as follows: “…performed LOF. Test drove. Health check printout attached. No DTC’s found. Test drove 24 miles. Vehicle is operating properly”

They also issued us a warranty that states as follows: “as per our discussion Beechmont Toyota will repair for up to 100,000 miles or six years from the original in-service date of 9/1/2019 which ever comes first for any oil starvation related failure on (vin#) related to the oil leak we caused. This is not transferable. Any repairs covered under this agreement must be performed at Beechmont Toyota. This will only be in effect if the maintenance requirements as per the factory are fulfilled.”

My questions are, is there anything else I should stipulate in along with the warranty? Is this test they said they done adequate?

They offered us a deal on a new car which was laughable at best. So with that being said and the newness of the vehicle we will probably have this car for a long time. I would like to cover myself as much up front as I can. Thank you for any advice!!!

Watch it closely for the next few hundred miles to make sure it isn’t burning oil at a higher rate than normal. If it isn’t burning oil at a higher rate than normal, there probably isn’t any damage.

New Toyota cars use plastic filter housing with external oring design. How a tech would hold canister in hand and remove old oring and not replace it immediately is not right. The canister also has a metal retaining clip to lock it in place. Can it loosen? Maybe. Your oil light for low oil level and low oil pressure neve came on. And u did not verify how much oil was still in motor. I thnk motor is fine. Ur motor also uses 0-20 syn oil. Keep ur receipts for all future oil changes.

Kudos to you for checking your oil. Personally, I would not go 10k between oil changes, but that is your choice. Anyway, continue to check the oil level on a regular basis.

The dealer warranty offer doesn’t seem to be any better than the existing Toyota 6/100k power train warranty on new vehicles. Is Toyota Corporate aware of the issue? If not forward a copy of all paperwork to the corporate level to cover yourself. Since the dealer is in CYA mode, I would have an independent mechanic check the vehicle for oil pressure and cylinder compression, etc.

Good luck,

Ed B.

If you never got a low oil pressure warning light, then you just might be okay.
What I would be worried about would be things like scuffed bearings, but those can’t be detected by the test drive they gave your car.
I’d push for them to pay for used engine oil analysis every 10,000 miles during their warranty period. Any internal engine breakdown should show up in the oil.

If your oil light never came on, then you didn’t damage the engine. Your diligence saved the Toyota dealership a lot of money. I hope someone at the dealership learned something. However, if he dealership was really going to offer you something, they should have extended the warrantee to at least 150k miles or 200k miles under the conditions they added and it should be transferable.

If your oil light never came on, then you didn't damage the engine

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Friend of mine owned a Mitsubishi…the oil light came the second the engine blew. There still could be some damage.

An oil pressure light can be kicked off with extremely low pressure; as in 3 or 4 PSI. Three or four PSI is not going to protect an engine; especially crankshaft journals being slammed into the main saddles or connecting rods pounding into rod journals.

It would be interesting to run a compression test and oil pressure test and see if anything shows up there. That’s something the dealer should do at a minimum although they have a vested interest now in coming up with good numbers. Whether they get those good numbers is another question…

Next step would be to drop the oil pan, remove some bearing caps the fartherest away from the oil pump, and note if any of the bearing materials have been scrubbed away.

I’m with Keith on this.

Mike, I know you know this stuff, but I’m writing this for the OP’s benefit: If the oil level had dropped too low for the pump to pickup oil, the oil light would have gone on, and as long as t he pump has oil to pump everything will be lubricated normally. If the pump had lost its supply, not only would the light have illuminated but the OP likely would have heard rapping sounds.

Kudos to the OP for checking the oil. He/she definitely saved his/her engine.

As others have said it looks like the dealer is actually offering ZERO beyond the (transferable) warranty you already have. Start a file with Toyota and see what actual assistance results.

Thank you all for you writings! I’m set to meet with the GM tomorrow and I’m somewhat more confident. As for how much oils was left in car. The light never came on. The service manager estimates 2.5 quart loss but won’t confirm that because they didn’t measure (just guessed with about how long it took to drain.). Would that kind of loss make it not show on the dipstick. And does anyone know what a “health check” is?

Yes, it would make it not show up on the dipstick. The dipstick typically goes just below the one-quart-down level, and in a typical 4-qt system that would put you 1-1/2 quarts down.

But 2.5 quarts remaining would be enough for the pump to never run out of supply to pump. The pickup tube goes much lower into the pool of oil than the dipstick.

A “health check” is whatever the shop wants it to be. In your case it apparently meant checking the ECU for stored codes and taking the vehicle for a 24 mile test drive.

There’s a problem with the just enough oil to prevent engine damage scenario. If the oil level is about equal to the oil pump pickup screen then it’s quite possible for the oil pump to inhale air along with oil. There’s also the issue of oil slosh in the pan.
The amount of oil inhaled may be just enough to keep the light off but not enough to prevent damage to some degree.

To use a phrase, “oil aeration”.

The dealer is gambling that you will trade the car or wreck it before any problems show up and I guarantee you that if you had taken advantage of the trade offer any potential buyer of your present car would never be told about this incident for a reason.

We asked if anything would show up on a car report that would follow the car around and hurt potential value on resale. He said you there would be a note but he can manipulate the wording to hide it. My wife (God love her) looked straight at him and said how deceitful that was (but I guess better for us). Guess that poses another question for the future. Are car reports reliable?

God love your wife! That was priceless.

I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Wait a few weeks and ask the dealer to pull up a Carfax report on your car. If you don’t see it there, the only place you will ever find it is in the dealer’s records, and that won’t be enough to hurt resale value. If it is on the Carfax report, ask to be compensated for the difference in anticipated resale value.

The only way it’s going to show up on the Carfax report is if the dealer submits it to Carfax. Many dealers have this automatically done when any transactions are added to their DB.

“health check” is just dealer slang

It’s supposed to make you think they did all sorts of comprehensive tests

But it doesn’t really mean anything, unless they tell you what they tested, and provide pictures and numbers (oil pressure, compression, etc.)